Disabled Persons An Untapped Resource

first_img People with disabilities have untapped ability to help thisprovince grow and prosper, Nova Scotians were told today, Dec. 3,the International Day of Disabled Persons. “All Nova Scotians have great potential,” said David Morse,Minister of Community Services. “By creating opportunities forpeople with disabilities to enter and remain in the workforce,employers across the province will benefit from the richcontributions this productive and strong segment of our workforcehas to offer.” About one in five Nova Scotians has a disability. CharlieMacdonald, executive director of the Disabled Persons Commission,said those individuals represent “an untapped resource in NovaScotia.” “By expanding employment opportunities and promoting leadershipdevelopment among people with disabilities, Nova Scotia can takefull advantage of the skills and abilities and the uniqueperspectives people with disabilities have on the world, oursociety and economy,” he said. One group of individuals trying to capture that potential is theGreater Halifax Business Leadership Network, which is hosting atwo-day workshop, Creating Opportunity and Sharing Knowledge:Leadership Development in the Canadian Disability Movement. The workshop, being held at the World Trade and Convention Centrein Halifax, began on Dec. 2 and continues today, offeringleadership development opportunities to young Nova Scotians withdisabilities. The Greater Halifax Business Leadership Network is an employer-led coalition of business, government and community organizationsdedicated to improving employment opportunities for people withdisabilities. The workshop has been designed to allow young people withdisabilities to develop their full leadership potential. Theseleaders of the future will have an opportunity to interact withcurrent leaders from a variety of sectors, to learn from theirexperiences and to take advantage of ongoing mentorshipopportunities. The project exemplifies the theme of the 2004 International Dayof Disabled Persons — Nothing About Us Without Us. It is a themethat also reflects the regular contributions of Nova Scotia’sDisabled Persons Commission, which was created in 1990 to advisethe provincial government and educate Nova Scotians on issuesconcerning people with disabilities. During their regular efforts, commission members place a specialemphasis on working with all levels of government, to advise onand influence decisions about programs and policies that affectpersons with disabilities. Recently, the commission provided input on the framework for anupdated federal-provincial employment initiative for people withdisabilities. The Multi-lateral Framework for Persons withDisabilities will support people with disabilities in becomingemployed, succeeding in their jobs and remaining in theworkplace. It will also assist employers as they get ready tohire people with disabilities. The framework was developed after almost two years of discussionsand extensive consultations with the disability community,including the Disabled Persons Commission. As a result, it betterreflects the views and needs of persons with disabilities byproviding a more comprehensive, yet flexible, approach toprogramming. The International Day for Disabled Persons, Dec. 3, is set asideeach year to celebrate and acknowledge the experience andcapabilities of people with disabilities. More information on theDisabled Persons Commission and the International Day of DisabledPersons can be found on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/disa/ . DISABLED PERSONS COMMISSION–Disabled Persons An UntappedResourcelast_img read more